Barisan Nasional

Barisan Nasional
National Front
Barisan Nasional
தேசிய முன்னணி
Chairman Najib Tun Razak[1]
Deputy Chairman Muhyiddin Yassin[2]
Founded 1973
Headquarters Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Membership United Malays National Organisation
Malaysian Chinese Association
Malaysian Indian Congress
Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia
People's Progressive Party
Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu
Sarawak United People's Party
Parti Bersatu Sabah
Liberal Democratic Party
Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah
United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation
Parti Rakyat Sarawak
Ideology Malay nationalism, Economic Conservatism, Social conservatism, Moralist, Right wing
Official colors Blue, White
140 / 222
State Assemblies:
361 / 576

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Barisan Nasional (Malay; historically National Front; commonly abbreviated as BN) is a major political coalition in Malaysia, formed in 1973 as the successor to the Alliance (Perikatan). Along with its predecessor, it has been Malaysia's federal ruling political party since independence. The coalition's headquarters is located in the nation's capital, Kuala Lumpur.

Barisan Nasional was delivered a severe political blow in the aftermath of the 2008 general elections when it lost more than one-third of parliamentary seats to Pakatan Rakyat, a loose alliance of opposition parties. Five state governments, Kelantan, Kedah, Penang, Perak (which was later returned via court ruling following a constitutional crisis) and Selangor, fell to Pakatan Rakyat as well.



The vast majority of Barisan Nasional's seats are held by its three largest religion and race-based political parties — the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), and the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) — each of which is sectarian in nature, though officially supporting racial harmony for the cameras. In the view of some scholars,

Since its inception the Alliance remained a coalition of communal parties. Each of the component parties operated to all intents and purposes, save that of elections, as a separate party. Their membership was communal, except perhaps Gerakan, and their success was measured in terms of their ability to achieve the essentially parochial demands of their constituents.[3]

Although both the Alliance and Barisan Nasional registered themselves as political parties, membership was only possible indirectly through one of the constituent parties. In the Alliance, one could hold direct membership, but this was abolished with the formation of the Barisan Nasional. The Barisan Nasional defines itself as "a confederation of political parties which subscribe to the objects of the Barisan Nasional". Although in elections, all candidates stand under the Barisan Nasional symbol, and there is a Barisan Nasional manifesto, each individual constituent party also issues its own manifesto, and there is intra-coalition competition for seats prior to nomination day.[4]

As of August 2009, Barisan Nasional's member parties are:

Party loyalty in Parliament

In 2005, the issue of voting along party lines was brought up when two Barisan National Members of Parliament (MPs), Bung Moktar Radin and Mohamed Aziz, supported a motion by Opposition leader Lim Kit Siang of the Democratic Action Party (DAP) to refer International Trade and Industry Ministry secretary Sidek Hassan to the Committee of Privileges. Deputy Prime Minister Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is also the BN whip in the Dewan Rakyat (lower house of Parliament) had the two MPs referred to the Cabinet for breaking the BN policy of never voting for motions proposed by the opposition. According to Najib, the two MPs apologised for their actions once informed of their mistake. Eventually, the Cabinet settled on a reprimand and with no further action taken.

In the aftermath of the general election held on March 8, 2008, there were calls from component parties from Sabah and Sarawak for more autonomy from the federal government.

In 2008, the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), consisting of two MPs, announced it would leave Barisan Nasional to sit on the crossbenches of Parliament.[5]

Controlled States & Chief Ministers


  1. ^ MIC must deliver Hulu Selangor seat, says Najib The Malay Mail. April 16, 2010
  2. ^ Muhyiddin: No Let-Up In BN Campaign Until Task Done The Malay Mail. April 24, 2010
  3. ^ Rachagan, S. Sothi (1993). Law and the Electoral Process in Malaysia, p. 12. Kuala Lumpur: University of Malaya Press. ISBN 967-9940-45-4.
  4. ^ Rachagan, p. 21.
  5. ^ "Rebel party wins support in no-confidence against Malaysian PM". AFP (AFP). 20 June 2008. Retrieved 20 June 2008. 

External links

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